:: Sunday, 15 February 2004 ::
Top top post about European corruption
Now, the point of reciting these tales of hypocrisy and corruption within the EU (and there are plenty of other stories where they came from) is not to exonerate Berlusconi. All those wrongs don't make a right. At the same time, they do make the indignation over the Italian prime minister look a little, well, selective. For an explanation, forget the dodgy dealings back in Italy. Berlusconi's real crime is something far worse — he is a capitalist, a conservative (of sorts) and, horrors, an Atlanticist, and in today's increasingly intolerant Europe the reward for such heresy is meant to be political and legal destruction.
And that's the real scandal.
I like Silvio a lot. I know he is vain. I know he likes to make money. I know there is something going on in his family because his wife will not go out with him anywhere.
I also know he is not a drunk. He loves his country and culture and never ever thinks for a moment that maybe Germany and France might be better. P'uh, zif.
He has definitely paid bribes to folks in the past - who of his age in Italian business has not had to put up with the scourge of organised crime - Mani Pullite "Clean Hands" - amemba that big ol' justice operation that netted tax cheats and bribers galore, even my beloved Gianfranco Ferre (it does not get much better than his 2000 Autumn/Winter collection, but I digress).
But he does not interfere in Italian media which is sickeningly leftist - swear to God, one more show with Dario Fo and Roberto Benigni and I will....willl....oh, nothing of course. It is such a top country, how can anyone think of harming it?
But Europe has fantastic scandals wholly reflective of the wogness going on in each culture. France is all mistresses and fraud, often involving truly disgusting connections, like African dictators, and nearly always socialisth, as Stuttaford's article points out. Yetch.
Italy is all organised crime, drugs and tax fraud. Ancient and noble pursuits. Ahem.
Germany is all self-serving bureacratic cheating on expenses and hypocrisy.
Albania is all sex slave trading and illegal immigration.
Greece is all Olympic kickbacks and communist terrorism and illegal loans to Oz - more Greeks in Melbourne than in Greece, I think. Or close. Whatever. I am not actually interested.
Russia, sadly of late, is all cheap capitalist rubbish and organised crime
I could go on but I figure you get the picture.
Nobody is perfect. No country is flawless.
We are all bent.
Just some are prettier about it than others.
Rock on Silvio.
:: WB 1:21 am [link+] ::